2022 CBJ Draft Options: Making a Trade

Nov 20, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) against the Detroit Red Wings at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) against the Detroit Red Wings at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 20, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) against the Detroit Red Wings at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) against the Detroit Red Wings at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Yesterday we took a look at some options for making picks at the 2022 NHL Draft. Today, we’ll look at what may happen if the Columbus Blue Jackets decide to trade one or more of their picks for immediate help.

I certainly won’t claim to have any insider information here, but rumors abound that the club is trying to reel in defenseman Jakob Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes. Chychrun seems to be exactly the kind of player the Blue Jackets covet on defense: he’s big, at 6-2 and 210 pounds, he’s physical, plays with an edge, can provide some scoring from the back end … and he’s signed for three more seasons at a team-friendly $4.6m AAV.

Originally a first round pick (#16 overall) at the 2016 Draft, Chychrun hails from South Florida and was a childhood teammate of current Blue Jacket Andrew Peeke. It would be easy to see him slot right into the team’s top four, perhaps in a second pairing role alongside Peeke, giving the team a true shutdown pairing. He even fits right into the competitive age group that the team is hoping to contend with. Truly, he’s a near perfect acquisition.

But players like Chychrun aren’t cheap. After all, he is still pretty young. He’s signed to a great contract, and there are a lot of suitors. The Blue Jackets will have to outbid those suitors to have a chance at landing him. What would a trade look like, that would bring him to Central Ohio?

Mar 10, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) carries the puck up ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 10, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) carries the puck up ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

First, you have to look at the Coyotes and their needs. Really, it’s not all that complicated; as one of the worst teams in the NHL last season, they could use help at nearly every position. They are already loaded with draft picks, including seven in the first two rounds of the draft(!). They are looking to build their prospect pool up but are also going to be looking to draw back some money to remain cap compliant, whether that happens in a Chychrun trade or not.

They were rumored to be asking for four first round assets, similar to the Seth Jones package Columbus received last summer. I’ll start off by pointing out the obvious: Jakob Chychrun is not Seth Jones. But, the contract situation is entirely different and for that reason, I think their ask being the same is a good starting point for them. Ultimately however, I don’t see anyone giving up that kind of package for him. Teams just aren’t willing to strip down for a player who may be best suited as a #2 or #3 defenseman on a contender.

Apr 28, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Nicholas Paul (20) checks Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jake Bean (22) in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Nicholas Paul (20) checks Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jake Bean (22) in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Putting all of this together, a trade that makes sense likely includes the #12 pick in tomorrow’s draft, and some combination of a rostered defenseman, rostered forward, and perhaps another pick or prospect. I’m thinking something along the lines of Alexandre Texier, Jake Bean, pick #12, and a pick in next year’s draft. Or sub that pick out for a prospect like Stanislav Svozil. Perhaps if you throw Adam Boqvist in instead of Bean, you can remove that extra pick/prospect? But players like Chychrun don’t come cheap, and the Jackets are going to have to part ways with some quality young pieces to make it happen.

With all of this in mind, is Jakob Chychrun worth it? I think the answer to that question lies in whether or not the Blue Jackets see him as the fix for their defensive struggles last season. If he were to come in and help solidify the young defense corps and help this team make a playoff push, he just might be. Now, if they could only find a top line center …